From: Evan DeFilippis on Quora (edited)
In the past, if you asked me when I woke up in the morning what things would make me happy that day, I would tell you: being with my family, eating good food, having rewarding conversations with friends, learning interesting things, going on adventures and so on. But if you asked me at the end of the day how I spent my free time and I would tell you: Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, responding to angry internet comments.
Whenever I would come home from a long day at work or school, I would be so tired the only things I could find the energy to do were mindless. Somehow I would find hours of time for television, Netflix, Reddit or Facebook,
Finally, though, I replaced this nightmarish routine with the twenty minute rule. The moment I get home, I force myself to do at least twenty minutes of one of the following: write an article, read a book, practice chess, learn another language with DuoLingo, practice guitar, meditate, work on a computer programming language or improve flexibility with stretching.
Once you get passed that twenty minute commitment, you will find that you have the energy to keep going. If you don't continue past twenty minutes or don't even start the twenty minutes, it's better to go to sleep than waste your time.
So, here are the keys to progress:
1. When people don't plan, they play Angrybirds and watch Netflix because it takes less energy than figuring out something to do. This is the path of least resistance. We need to build habits that make it difficult and one way to do this is the twenty minutes rule.
When we want to do something that we know will enrich our lives, like writing a book or learning a language, we say "I'll get around to it." We don't commit the twenty minutes a day necessary to become the person we really want to be. And so we need to challenge the impulse to relegate our ambitions and passions to something our future self will do.
2. Recognize that any forward movement is worthwhile.